Monday, February 16, 2015

Beside Still Waters

Sometimes what I look at as an inconvenience or a problem, God means for me to see it as a gift.

Today was a prime example of that. A winter storm blew through the area causing hazardous road conditions which meant many businesses did not open today.

Most schools were already closed in observance of President's Day, but teachers were still supposed to report to work. Government agencies and banks were already closed. However, the majority of businesses were planning to be open as usual. That meant a lot of parents had to find someone to watch the kids while they went to work. Instead, many people got an unexpected day off.

Rather than risk lives and property, officials warned people to stay home and stay safe until roads could be cleared. Many people heeded that advice.

So, families reconnected and played outdoors, watched movies together, or played games. Some worked from home, or rested, or caught up on chores at home because of these unexpected change in routine.

Psalm 23:1-3 reminds us about a shepherd who guides the sheep to rest. Without the guidance, the sheep may not take the time to rest.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: 
he leadeth me in the paths 
of righteousness for his name's sake.

Our Shepherd occasionally leads us to a place to rest, a place of still waters, so that he can restore us. Admittedly, we occasionally get too busy with life to rest. Sometimes it takes something big to get our attention . . .

a broken leg
a broken-down car
a job loss
an ice storm

. . . to get us to slow down, to rest, to (hopefully) reconnect with the Shepherd and listen for his voice. When the Shepherd says it's time to get up and move again, we can follow--hopefully refreshed and ready to serve. 

Sometimes what looks like a roadblock or a setback, is simply God giving us an opportunity to stop and rest. When we're asked to wait a little longer at the doctor's office it's easy to get irritated or upset. But, who knows, maybe God's giving me a chance to lower my blood pressure before seeing the doctor instead of raising it! 

Just like the ice which formed on the branches created something beautiful, sometimes the waiting, the delays, and setbacks can also create something beautiful: memories!